Signs That Indicate a Wooden Log is Going Bad

May 14, 2019 8:05 am Published by Leave your thoughts

It’s always important to keep an eye out for signs of wet or dry rot in timbers, especially if you keep them outside. These types of rot differ in some ways, though have the same result in that they weaken the structural integrity of the wood in Utah.

Dry rot is an infestation of a living fungus, while wet rot occurs as a result of the natural decay of the wood due to elevated moisture content. Dry rot is the much more serious problem between the two, and typically requires the use of a chemical fungicide to eliminate the fungal infection.

Both are preventable issues, and both have certain signs that indicate they’re occurring. Here’s an overview of those signs.

Signs You’re Dealing With Dry Rot

The earliest stages of dry rot are marked by the appearance of off-white, cotton-like sheets on your timber or bricks. The parts that have been exposed to direct sunlight are likely to have a bit of a yellowish tinge.

Over time, you might notice some mushroom-like organisms starting to grow on the surface of the wood, even on top of finishes like paint or plaster. These are signs that there is dry-rotting timber concealed beneath the surface. In many cases, this is the first indication that you’ve got dry rot occurring.

You should make it a point to regularly inspect your timbers for any long, deep cracks that run against the grain of the wood. These cracks are more susceptible to the formation of dry rot, and are more likely to contain evidence that you’ve got a buildup of that off-white fungus fiber previously mentioned.

Whenever possible, you should apply some direct pressure to any wood you believe is suffering from dry rot. If you are having dry rot issues, timber decaying will buckle under that pressure, and even the slightest touch will push it down. This will confirm your suspicions.

Signs You’re Dealing With Wet Rot

Obviously, wet rot is mostly going to be an issue in places vulnerable to moisture, such as wood close to the ground or in areas where water collects. Paint and finishes might still look like they’re in good condition, but could be concealing rotting wood beneath them. A thin-bladed knife pressed into the timber will tell you want you need to know. If the knife penetrates deeply, you have wet rot.

Any timber in Utah that feels spongy or looks darker than other parts of the timber is also likely to be affected by wet rot. And if you’ve noticed water pooling in areas surrounding your timber, then you know which pieces of wood are most likely to be affected. That’s where you should start your inspections.

This is just a brief overview of how you can find dry and wet rot in your timber and the differences between the two types of rot. For more information, we encourage you to contact us today with any questions you have, and we’ll be happy to tell you more.

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